Jesse Jackson Jr's Friends in Low Places

ROD BLAGOJEVICH might've gotten something "tangible" from associates of Jesse Jackson, Jr! The scandal is in its baroque period now, with the fun transcripts picked through, leaving only complicated questions of political propriety.

According to the Chicago Tribune, one of the apparently thousands of wealthy businessmen dedicated to supporting the Jacksons in public life (this one is Raghuveer Nayak, friend of Jonathan Jackson) threw a fundraiser for Blagojevich last Saturday, that Jonathan Jackson attended. According to "businessmen" who spoke to the Tribune, the point of the fundraiser was to help Jesse Jackson, Jr. get that Senate seat! Jesse Jackson, Jr denies authorizing all this nonsense.

Also here is a great column about some Illinois State Senator who is the brains(?) behind Blagojevich, and there are some totally great insinuations of back door horse trading between this guy and Rahm Emanuel, and then the columnist calls up a casino in Aruba looking for the the State Senator. Highly recommended.

Meanwhile, a couple people, here and there, have point out that while Rod Blagojevich is quite corrupt, and stupid, and the criminal complaint against him is full of some really quality corruption, it's hard to see where the Governor violated federal law. Bribery is not actually a federal crime, we don't think? As Jack Shafer says, "if Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is immediately guilty of anything, it's of making overt what other politicians make covert, and doing so while the wiretaps roll."

And a lawyer writing in the Tribune has more:

Though the federal investigation has been ongoing for five years, agents have been recording telephone calls only since Oct. 21. The language of the complaint makes it clear there isn't yet enough evidence for an indictment: It alleges the accused "would" use interstate communications to further the scheme, not that they "did" use them. It's questionable whether this first paragraph of the complaint sufficiently alleges a federal crime.

So cheer up, Rod Blagojevich! Patrick Fitzgerald destroyed your political career with his carefully compiled criminal complaint, but he only did it because he didn't have enough to actually indict you, yet, on real federal charges! Fitz apparently wanted to strip Blago of his political capital before the Senate appointment was made, which seems noble but a bit extracurricular for a US Attorney.

We'll see how the grand jury thing goes!